A man of many talents, Adam Ashe is most certainly the master of some with his polymathic and inquisitive propensities opening exciting doors beyond his sporting career. A talented golfer and footballer, Ashe reached the pinnacle of professional rugby by representing his country on six occasions but his focus now lies away from the sport.

Injuries curtailed Ashe’s career prematurely but his entrepreneurial spirit is still burning and his intuition allowed him to seamlessly transition into life after rugby. Still just 30, Ashe has played instrumental roles in the formation of several start-up businesses, including a multi-million-pound company, and he’s certainly already lived the dream. 

Tucked away under a withering tree in a popular West End cafe is a far cry - 5,114 miles to be exact - from the palm trees of Venice Beach but Ashe exudes enthusiasm about the year ahead. While Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage never attended, Ashe rubbed shoulders with celebrities in the city of angels at La Giltinis, where he rediscovered his passion for DJing - just one of many irons in Ashe’s fire.

“I’ve always been musical,” Ashe admitted after releasing three new tracks this Month after reigniting his musical ambitions. “I was a drummer in a band and then I really got into DJing when I was around 18. I played gigs around clubs in Glasgow and Edinburgh when I was still playing, including after a Six Nations game against Ireland at Murrayfield.

“Three years ago, I went to Coachella and it inspired me to make music. I was watching Fred Again and that motivation really accelerated my desire to get into it. I’ve got three tracks coming out this month and there’s something special about just playing music. I’ve had some incredibly cool experiences already.

"I used to play loads of bars around Venice beach and they go mental because it’s such a party atmosphere around there. When I was playing in LA, I played a half-time show with Fatman Scoop and he was spitting bars. After the game I opened for Steve Aoki on this massive stage in front of 10,000 people and that was cool.

“If people like my music it would be great but I’m never going to be the guy to put myself in a box as a DJ and you really need to do that to rise to the top.”

Growing up in the central belt in Scotland, it’s almost unfathomable to envisage enjoying a career in Los Angeles, never mind as a successful athlete. One of the biggest musicians on the planet once rapped ‘sports and music are so synonymous, because we want to be them and they want to be us’ but Ashe made that a reality in one of the most famous sporting settings in America. 

Known as 'The Greatest Stadium in the World', the L.A Coliseum is one of America's most iconic venues, featuring the famous Olympic torch which was utilised to bring out some famous faces to watch LA Giltinis - aptly named after a cocktail.

“It was frightening,” Ashe added. “It was pretty surreal at times. You’d look up into the crowd and see Nicole Scherzinger! We hung about with her and Tom Evans a few times because I know him from Glasgow. Steve-O would come to the games and they used to do a feature before every game when they’d fire a fake arrow up to the top of the coliseum and the Olympic fire pit would alight. 

“The team we played in was incredible because they were a new-team in the competition and the owner was a really out there guy. We were getting between 5-6,000 for games and that increased to 10,000 for big games. Everyone at that team was taking a risk because it was all brand new and that attracted people who were willing to live on the edge. It was a group of guys living next to the beach in LA and there weren't really too many rules on what we could do. We were training in the sun everyday, out enjoying ourselves and the owner would always take us out and throw parties. 

Ashe enjoyed great success in LA Giltinis’ maiden campaign, winning the Major League Rugby final and they were on course to replicate that success before being disqualified from the league due to alleged salary cap issues but the former Glasgow Warriors still loved his time in the USA

“It was the best decision I made in my career to go to LA,” he proclaimed. “You probably get half the money that you’d get in Scotland but you get your rent and car paid for. There’s difficulty with visas and what you do in the off-season but I’d highly recommend players to get out there.

“We had such a brilliant time over there but it ended sadly because we were kicked out of the competition. There was an issue with the owner and the league but there was zero evidence that we did anything wrong. I thought we would’ve won the competition but we were squeaky clean so it was a real shame.” 

Ashe returned home last year and lives in close proximity to Scotstoun and he said he might return to Glasgow Warriors in the future in a non-coaching capacity. Ashe, however, has no ambitions to return to coaching imminently after leaving his role as forward coach at Chicago Hounds. 

“I found it too restrictive coaching in Chicago and the organisation had issues with me putting music out,” he admitted. “The perception could’ve been that I wasn’t focused on coaching but that was literally the complete opposite. I’m a workaholic, I can’t stop working and I don’t want to limit myself in what I can do.”

John McGinn, Scott McTominay and Andy Robertson are just three of many Scotland internationals who will be able to put their feet up when their careers finish due to the inordinate finances on offer to top footballers. That wealth, however, isn’t transferable to rugby, even at the elite level of the game. 

While top professionals earn healthy salaries, the vast majority need to work after their playing career and this realisation stuck accord with Ashe while he was still a Scotland international. 

“When you’re achieving everything you want in rugby then you don’t really think about your future career," he admitted. "But then all of a sudden, you have negative experiences and certain things are pulled from under your feet. You think ‘oh f***’, I thought things were going well’. 

“A huge learning curve was the Pro 14 final in 2015, I made a big contribution and played the semi-final but Gregor Townsend told me I wasn’t playing because a more experienced player returned - I was completely deflated. It was just one of many, many disappointments in a rugby career but it got me thinking about my identity. Was being a rugby player all I was? Because it was going to be a rocky ride if that’s all I saw myself as The pain of what I experienced made me question the things I thought to be true about myself.” 

Ashe’s newfound perspective on life and issues with recurring injuries led him on a journey that resulted in the formation of a multi-million pound company Puresport - the Uk’s leading CBD and natural wellness brand.

“I was struggling to get back fit so I explored how to get my mind right but also potential aids," he continued. "I was interested in natural products and I heard about CBD. I knew it wasn’t banned anymore so I visited a shop in Glasgow to try some after googling where to go. I was shocked because the place was a tardis on Buchannan street and somebody was punting CBD oil. I felt a huge difference after just a few days both physically and mentally so I approached my good mate Grayson Hart. I managed to find a good manufacturer and we purchased and then sold 200 bottles. 

“We had the benefit of having top-class athletes taking it and the Instagram page soared when they shared it. Problems arose when Scottish Rugby became concerned because it wasn’t informed sport tested so they put a blanket ban on players advertising CBD and you weren't allowed products on the premises at Scotstoun. 

“Grayson moved to London and I moved to America so I sold the majority of my shareholding but I still own ten percent. That’s doing really well, it’s a multi-million pound company with 12 employees working out of a big office in London. It’s been a real success story and that triggered the excitement in me to do it again. It’s a rollercoaster ride and it opened my eyes in so many different ways.” 

Ashe’s eyes are now firmly focused on Zappaty, a start-up company aiming to transform the file-sharing industry and it’s already gained investment from some famous faces like Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe and Adam Hastings.

“We’ve got some big-names in the rugby world on board and they helped massively in the initial stage to help build our profile,” he added. “We’re raising £1 million just now to see us through the next few years to really help upscale it and we’ve already 60% there. 

“It’s a file-sharing platform like WeTransfer or Dropbox. The market for the product is anyone who is looking to share massive digital files. It was founded by a guy named John Thornewill who's been in the games development industry and they’ve no way to really share their huge files with full encryption. We have end-to-end encryption and we protect people losing their sharing if connection drops and it’s also much cheaper. The file sharing market is growing by 27% per annum due to everything becoming digital and more AI, AR and things like 8K. We want to get people onto this amazing platform and make file sharing easier than it's ever been. We want to scale this up and sell to a bigger company when it gets to a certain size. 

2024 is gearing up to be a busy year for Ashe but that’s exactly how he likes it and his excitement is palpable when discussing an imminent arrival to his family.

“I’m excited about having my kid because I’m ready for it at this stage of my life,” Ashe beamed. “Having someone else to look after is quite a nice thing because you have to be quite selfish as an athlete. Having a kid will change my perspective on life and it will be a transition but we’ll make it work.

“I’m apprehensive and a little scared about juggling all my commitments. I told my parents that I’m a little worried about doing too much but it’ll be trial and error. I’ve never really known my capacity for what I can do but I’ll learn that because it’s most important to be there for my wife and child.”